The 5 key things

sports supplement companies should look at before setting up in the UAE

Many sports supplement companies who wants to setup or import your sports supplement products into the UAE, then the following information shared will definitely be of great value to you.

What we have found in the industry when potential clients are looking at importing their sports supplements into the UAE is they either don’t know what the process is, or who to establish contact with in the beginning. With Google being so rich in search results, it is only natural that you will get conflicting information and it can lead to confusion.

As an advisory business setup agency, we get to interact with countless clients who during their process encounter these obstacles, and hence ensure we advise them accordingly before they actually commence with setting up their business in Dubai.

Here is the 5 key things sports supplement companies should look at before setting up in the United Arab Emirates


Choose your UAE National Sponsor wisely

When aligning with a potential partner/UAE national sponsor, most information shared with clients is that they should just choose any sponsor/partner and setup the business. However, it has been proven time and time again that the value the UAE national sponsor has and can be greatly leveraged through their network that they may hold.

Aligning with the correct UAE National sponsor will drastically cut down your entry to market with the value they hold in their relationships and the respect they hold with key people in the industry. Even though we live in an age when things are done digitally, relationships and building those relationships offline is key to a shorter market entry.

See that the UAE National Sponsor / Partner you choose will serve your business and build that relationship long term. It will be greatly beneficial to you.


Distributor Networks

Many clients get approached by companies in the UAE in order to gain their exclusive distribution rights within the UAE or beyond, and because they have not done proper market research or understand the way the distributor networks operate in the UAE have fallen into traps by not choosing those distribution partners wisely. During advisory we have encountered clients who are given an impression by other parties and paints a picture of a large distribution chain, when in fact they don’t have those chains.

So be wise in those instances and do the research by focusing on
  • on what the industry is
  • like who are the key players
  • how do they operate
  • their market share

If you assess these as a supplement organization before entering into such an arrangement it will greatly serve you and this is vital for your business going forward in the UAE and in the GCC.


Payment Terms Offered

When clients enter this region and they start to make great strides in the industry they are often faced with the options on payment terms. It is so important to know that most distributors taking on products usually are looking at 60 – 120 days payment schedule, so be aware of these things when entering and operating in the region. Choose your distribution partners wisely with terms acceptable for both parties.


Setup your Own Company Base First

We have often encountered that supplement companies choose to purely distribute their products in the region, without having their own physical presence and have advised them differently, but why?

Here are a few reasons for you to consider:
  • Brand protection in the UAE and beyond
  • Brand support to your distributors
  • Industry knowledge and cultural knowledge on how the industry operates
  • You can control your brands coming in without your knowledge, which in turns supports your distributors chains.
  • Control your distributors positions and build better relationships with them.
  • Marketing support on the ground for your distributors.
  • Send a brand message of “we take our business seriously” and you ensure that you differentiate yourself from everyone.

Applying the above when consulting and setting up supplement companies’s businesses within the UAE has proven to be a successful formulate to them, with the least entry to market.


Be Different – Be Adaptable

These are one of the pointers I can advise on time and time again. Be different and adaptable.! The UAE is such an ever-evolving landscape and innovation and business practices keep improving. Yes, we are kept on our feet to constantly innovate and be better at what we do respectively. The same applies to business in the UAE. What happens in many instances is supplement companies think that their model of operation and how they do sales globally will work the same way in the UAE. This is definitely not the case. The UAE has a very different way of operating, its culture, how business is done in the UAE, and it is here where there are usually roadblocks for many companies.

Many can say and ask the question why? I truly believe that this pertains to the fact that there are so many nationalities doing business in the region, and together they have created an amazing culture and work ethic and way of working. It takes time to understand how it is done and why this industry is different, but the one thing that will always stay constant is relationships and who you form them with.

Ensure you choose to walk the path with people that are UAE based that understand the culture, the business environment and what would serve you best in walking a path with you to establish and enter the market successfully in the UAE.

Usually this type of information is not shared with clients prior to them entering a market in the UAE and thus results in lots of frustration along the way. Through many years of experience, 18 years to be precise, we have seen what works and what doesn’t so that our clients are saved these obstacles prior to opening in the region.

We trust this information can assist you in making an informative decision based on your research on how to successfully enter the UAE as a Sports Supplement Company in the UAE. If you have any further questions or want to get in touch to inquire about how we can assist you in setting up your sports supplement company in the UAE please feel free to contact us.


Schedule a meeting with Michelle
Charis Global Alliance Office
A3, Dubai South Business Center
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Contact: +9714 3294320


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